The majority of shows that I watch (the majority in this case being Ugly Betty, The Office, and 30 Rock) have at least this one thing in common:
At the beginning of the series, the female protagonist always has a lousy long-term boyfriend. Am I right or am I right?
Pam and (well, fiance) Roy (total dbag) from The Office
Betty and Walter (how annoying was he?) from Ugly Betty
Liz and (though they weren't together in the pilot) Dennis (what a tool!) from 30 Rock.
But the real question is WHY do writers do this? It may be to give the viewers a template of "Look how bad this guy is..." and then later, when they dump him and get a new boyfriend, "Look how far she's come!" Or maybe it's because it adds instant plot lines when a show is getting started.
Any ideas? Sound off in the comments!